HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 6:1
How readily that which is good, may be degraded into that which is evil! The perversion of the best is the worst. Giving is gracious, and yet I need to watch and pray lest it should be a display of pride.
For example, it may be a work — and not a fruit. I may foolishly imagine that by it I can win the favour of God and can commend myself to Him. Whereas His favour comes to me freely through Jesus Christ alone; and the giving should follow spontaneously, naturally, and easily. It is a consequence — and not a cause. It is the acknowledgement of debt — and not the payment of a price.
Or it may be a soul-deadening. Because I am kind and open-handed, my conscience may be rocked to sleep and may suppose that all is well with me here and hereafter. Whereas all giving should but rouse me to think of Him who gave Himself, without whom I am lost and dead. Not a penny I part with — but may remind me of One who parted with the silver of His body and the gold of His soul, for my redemption.
Or it may be an incentive to boast — and not a lesson in humility. I may glory in it, and be proud, and publish abroad my goodness. Whereas I ought to remember that I have nothing which I have not received and that all my grace is yet imperfect and poor. I am but learning the rudiments of Christ’s love. I have not mastered the alphabet of His great liberality.
So, when I give alms, I will beg my Lord to prevent my left hand from knowing what my right-hand does.